Updated at 1:20 p.m. — An all-organic soup restaurant is coming to the first floor of Bethesda’s PeriPoint building at the intersection of Wilson Lane and Old Georgetown and Arlington roads.
Michael Belisle, the architect who bought and renovated the building in 2007, said Soup Up owner Donna Henry signed a lease for the space last week.
Henry, known as “the soupinista,” opened Soup Up DC in 2013 with a focus on all-natural, organic ingredients reminiscent of the soups she ate while growing up in Jamaica. She said the Bethesda store will be called Soup Up Bethesda.
She hopes to keep the Union Market location open for a time, but eventually will close it down to open the bigger operation in the Bethesda location.
Soup Up has served more than 175 varieties of soups, made with locally grown vegetables, herbs and spices and without pork, additives, preservatives, dairy, butter or oil.
The items available include vegan, non-vegan and gluten-free selections that run the gamut of American, Spanish, Asian, Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine.
Henry said while at Union Market, she often was asked about opening a brick-and-mortar location in Bethesda.
“I like to think I was actually invited by people in Bethesda,” Henry said. “Our soups are very exotic and very different. You will not find our soups anywhere else.”
Henry said she chose the PeriPoint building because of its green environmental features.
Belisle designed the building, the former spot of the 1929 Sanitary Store, into a three-story, triangular structure on the corner of one of downtown Bethesda’s busiest intersections.
There will be room for about 50 seats in the restaurant, plus outdoor terrace seating and a mezzanine. Soup Up will also offer salads, cornbread, spring rolls and coffee and intends to get a license to serve wine and beer.
“I think the marriage of our very unique space and her unique concept is a really strong partnership,” Belisle said. “Her soups blew me out of the water. It was just out of this world.”
Henry said Soup Up Bethesda is targeting a September opening date.